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10 things to do in Bournemouth & Poole this October half term

Posted on
October 25, 2017

October half term is here and the weather is looking a bit hit and miss so far.
Finding things for the kids to do can be a bit of a challenge, especially if it is raining, so here are my top ten tips for things to do in Bournemouth and Poole:

Indoor Fun

1. Rockreef
Situated on Bournemouth Pier, Rockreef offers several fun activities for the whole family to enjoy including: Clip ‘n’ Climb, Caving, Highline and the Pier Zip.
Rockreef UK
We have been coming here since it opened, the kids love it and now that Sebastian is four, he can join in too. The best news for my kids is that they have dropped their height limit for the highline from 1.3m to 1.1m which means that Isaac and Eliza can now try their hand at that too.
Rockreef UK
Just in time for half term it has also launched a new ‘Drop ‘n’ Go’ session whereby parents can drop their children off and leave them for up to 2 hours. This is perfect for parents who have little ones not old enough to join in, or just need a couple of hours to fit in a spot of shopping.
Rockreef UK
The first session launched on Saturday 21st October and subsequent sessions will be every Saturday thereafter.
2. Tower Park, Poole
Tower Park is an entertainment Centre, based just three miles from the centre of Poole and five miles from Bournemouth, is a must-visit during holiday season as it is home to some fabulous places to amuse the kids:
For kids that like their thrill and spills, Splashdown is the place for you. Home to 13 thrilling indoor and outdoor flume rides and 3 under 5’s splash zones there is plenty to do for the whole family.
Lemur Landings
A sister venue to Splashdown, you can get discounted tickets for both venues, Lemur Landings is more than just softplay and has activities for kids from 0-12 years. It has recently been refurbished and includes Leweyville, a brilliant role play word for the under 6’s, a large play frame, climbing walls, a low rope course and my kids favourite – the digiwall, where they can challenge each other to some fun games, combined with a climbing element.
Lemur Landings
Hollywood Bowl
Another area of Tower Park that has been refurbished recently is Hollywood Bowl. Now boasting 24 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, they have moved and opened up the bar area, changed the pool tables to money per play rather than a timed session and have a fantastic American style diner where you can eat in comfort.
Hollywood Bowl
With games costing from £5.49 per person, it won’t break the bank either.
Watch the latest movies at the cinema, with the offerings mine want to see this year being LEGO Ninjago and My Little Pony. Cineworld pride themselves on outstanding picture quality and atmospheric surround sound; the soft, deep-down comfort of the modern seating; the crunch of the popcorn; and, most importantly, the friendliest customer service around.
3. Activate Trampoline Park
Featuring an open jump area full of 70 trampolines, a dodgeball area, a giant air bag, tumble track and a Ninja assault course there is plenty of activities to wear them out, plus there is a large café and mezzanine area for you to relax and enjoy a cuppa with friends whilst the kids bounce.
Activate Trampoline Park
4. Oceanarium
See over 150 species of fish on your underwater adventure as you journey through the amazon, Great Barrier Reef and the Ganges. Highlights for us are when the penguins, otters, sharks and sea turtles grab a bite to eat during their daily feeding talks.
Penguins Oceanarium
5. Oasis Fun
Oasis Family Fun is located in central Bournemouth and features an amazing bowling alley with 6 lanes, an indoor soft play centre, large adventure golf course, arcades and pool tables. They also serve delicious food and drinks in our American diner and bar.
Oasis Fun

Outdoor Fun

Of course, being on the coast there are 7 miles of sandy beaches to enjoy, but if you want something more structured to do, check out the following:
Beach Bournemouth
1. Farmer Palmers
Farmer Palmers has been one of our favourite places to go to with the children since they were all small and is where they found their love of animals.
Farmer Palmers
Not only are their farm animals to pet, groom and feed, but there are bumpy tractor rides, bouncy castles, indoor soft play, a wicked slide barn and informative talks to enjoy.
2. Moors Valley
At Moors Valley Country Park and Forest there is something for everyone, whether you want to enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle ride through the Forest, experience the adrenalin of swinging through the treetops at Go Ape, or the excitement of spotting the Gruffalo and his friends along one of the many forest trails.
Go Ape
There are also two parks, a play trail, a miniature railway and a large lake with swans and ducks to feed too.
Moor Valley
3. Adventure Wonderland
Adventure Wonderland is a family theme park which offers rides and attractions aimed at families with children up to the age of 12 and is set directly opposite Bournemouth Airport.
Adventure Wonderland
The park boasts a large play area, a hedge maze which gets us lost every time, a small petting area with sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and guinea pigs and lots of rides for the kids to enjoy with virtually no queues. There is even a theatre and and an indoor play area if the weather does turn.
Adventure Wonderland
4. Snowtrax
Living where we do on the southcoast, I can count on one hand how many times we have seen enough snow to warrant buying a sledge, however, the kids love to slip & slide down the fun and exciting Ski Bob and Ringo slopes with Ringo’s being our favourite. These are giant rubber rings that you sit in and after a few calm slides down the dry ski slope, you will soon be begging to be spun like a washing machine or holding hands with your friends as you hurtle down the hill.
There is also a fabulous Alpine park just behind which features a huge pirate ship to clamber on and take part in your best swashbuckling adventures.

Alpine Play Park

Image Credit: DorsetMums

5. Mighty Claws Adventure Golf
Mighty Claws is a truly fun family day out. Swing, cut and slice through the epic 18 holes of Jurassic proportions, dodging the scary animatronic Raptors, ginormous T-Rex and a whole host of ancient animated creatures; travelling through caves, around smoking volcanoes and giant waterfalls…
Mighty Claws Adventure Claws
For half term, Little monsters are encouraged to play in their best costumes and take part in a frighteningly fun fancy dress competition, check out the spooky dino cave, win some roarsome prizes by taking a dip into the witches’ cauldron and win 50% off in November if they finish the frightening word search!
Mighty Claws
I have just scraped the surface of fun things to do locally, please do check out the blog for more hints and tips of things to do in Dorset.

Where do you like to visit during the school holidays?


Map thanks to Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android
  1. Reply

    Erica Price

    October 25, 2017

    Some great ideas for keeping the kids entertained whatever the weather. You certainly won’t be bored this half term.

  2. Reply


    October 25, 2017

    I honestly didn’t realise there was so much to do there. Rockreef looks like great fun my girls would love it there!

  3. Reply

    Michelle Twin Mum

    October 25, 2017

    Rockreef and Snow trax are definitely making it on to our list of things to do when we come and stay next summer. thanks. Mich x

  4. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    October 25, 2017

    Moors Valley looks like so much fun! I keep meaning to pop down to Bournemouth and Poole as I have friends down there

  5. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    I need a nap after just reading about these activities much less taking part in them!!
    The bowling alleys look like great fun

  6. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    October 26, 2017

    You can’t beat a trampoline park, and I loved Compton Acres in Poole x

  7. Reply

    The London Mum

    October 26, 2017

    Oh my gosh! So much to do.. my son would enjoy everyone of those activities!

  8. Reply

    Olivia Thristan

    October 26, 2017

    It looks like there is so much more fun stuff to do around Bournemouth than where I am from. Rokreef sounds fab and a great way to get rid some of their energy :’)

  9. Reply

    Samantha Donnelly - StressedMum

    October 26, 2017

    Looks like lots of fun whatever the weather to do, it is always harder when the school holidays appear and the weather is horrible x

  10. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    Wow what a fab bunch of activities, like the look of rock reef looks fun and a challenge 🙂 x

  11. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    Looks like lots of fun things to do. I have never been to Bournemouth but really want to go.

  12. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    Lemur Landings looks amazing. Would be right up my oldest son’s street.
    I live miles away (North West) but we’re heading to Bournemouth for a break next year so will hopefully get to explore a few of these!

  13. Reply

    Rebecca | AAUBlog

    October 26, 2017

    we try to be outside as much as we can during the school holidays – just a shame the weather hasn’t been better. I love GoApe, so Moor Valley park looks good – not sure what the kids would think of it though?!

  14. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    October 26, 2017

    Oh my goodness what some absolutely amazing things to do around Bournemouth this half term, it is enough to make me wish I was a child again,.

  15. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    I didn’t realise there were activities at Rock Reef for the little ones. We’ll have to try it out sometime x

  16. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    There is so much to do! I don’t even know what little man would choose to do first. Perhaps Adventure Wonderland?

  17. Reply

    Linda Hobbis

    October 26, 2017

    Wow – that’s a lot. More than Cardiff I think! Better load up on coffee and brace yourself for a busy half term. Ours starts tomorrow but we’re all knackered already!

  18. Reply


    October 26, 2017

    Wow. Loads of exciting things to do! Will be sure to add some of these to my list next time we’re down that way

  19. Reply

    Laura H

    October 26, 2017

    I’ve never been down to Bournemouth/Poole so maybe one of these days I can try out some of these things!

  20. Reply

    danasia fantastic

    October 27, 2017

    Rockreef looks AMAZING! I’d love to rock climb even as an adult.

  21. Reply

    Cathy Glynn

    October 27, 2017

    What great activities, I would love to visit the Bournemouth area one day, there is so much to do x

  22. Reply

    Afshan Nasim

    October 27, 2017

    There are some great places to visit here. I find it hard to think of places to go during half term and you have some great suggestions. Great pictures too.

  23. Reply

    Helen at Casa Costello

    October 27, 2017

    Splashdown sounds just the perfect place for us – 13 indoor slides?! You know we can never be too far from water!

  24. Reply

    DJT @ Thinking Thrifty

    October 27, 2017

    You’re definitely not short of things to do in Poole!

  25. Reply

    Kate Williams

    October 27, 2017

    The adventure golf looks amazing! We’ve managed a beach day today which was unexpected but very much appreciated!

  26. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    October 27, 2017

    There is so much to do , the kids will be spoilt for choice. I like the sound of the splashdown.

  27. Reply


    October 27, 2017

    My kids would love this place. So much to do.

  28. Reply


    October 28, 2017

    All are such awesome activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. I personally love the Farmers Palmers and the Moores Valley to have a wonderful interaction with animals and nature.

  29. Reply

    Tanya Brannan

    October 28, 2017

    Wow I never realised there was so much to do in the Bournemouth/Poole area. I just love the photograph of the children in the little cars outside Ally’s Garage. So cute. The Oasis Fun place look really good too, very different to most bowling alleys and soft play areas.

  30. Reply

    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    October 28, 2017

    Fantastic fun days out to be had! Lots to do whatever the weather, its going to be a fun half term! 🙂

  31. Reply

    Ali - We Made This Life

    October 28, 2017

    Great list! When we were children we spent a lot of time visiting my Granny in Bournemouth, it would be nice to take my kids there now, especially as there is so much more to do than there used to be!

  32. Reply


    October 28, 2017

    Theres so much to do to keep the kids entertained here. Would be a great place for a mini break too I think! xxx

  33. Reply

    Fritha Strickland

    October 28, 2017

    I went to Bournemouth for the first time the other day! Looks like there is loads to do here, we watched MLP at Cineworld the other day too x

  34. Reply


    October 28, 2017

    What a plethora of options! October half term usually involves a trip to Blackpool for the Illuminations and the kids love it. If we were in Bournemouth it would be hard to choose only a few of these great options.

  35. Reply

    Ami Elizabeth

    October 28, 2017

    Lemur Landings looks awesome! Can’t wait for Florence to be old enough to play at this type of place! 🙂

  36. Reply


    October 30, 2017

    There is so much to do in Bournemouth – although my favourite is always to eat fish and chips followed by ice cream on the beach!

  37. Reply


    October 30, 2017

    We’re a big cinema fan family so that would definitely be on the top of our list! Oasis fun looks good too x

  38. Reply

    lisa prince

    October 30, 2017

    it has been absolutely years since i went to bournmouth and in fact im sure its changed since i was there as a teen but i remember it being great and even better on the nightitme even for families as we played crazy golf at night and walked along the shoreline , we went the the splash centre and we also saw the surf cabin which i remember been so envious of as it was summer and we saw lots of surfers then, ive not been back as an adult but i keep saying i want to , the pier used to have a big wheel and rides on i still have pics if the memories

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog